The Accomac closes, staff members file complaints

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

After about 10 months on the market, The Accomac has closed its doors and is still up for sale with a price tag $400,000 less than what was originally asked for, ROCK Commercial Real Estate announced on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

The historic restaurant in Hellam Township closed on Monday, Oct. 29. Staff members weren't given a formal warning before the closing — and haven't been paid for the last two weeks of work, said general manager Jace Hewitt. 

Additionally, some employees have notified Hewitt that their most recent paycheck is bouncing, she said. 

"The whole thing is honestly, it's upsetting, because we all put so much time and energy into the Accomac and now it's like none of that meant anything," Hewitt said. 

Most of the staff, including about 16 servers and busers and about 10 kitchen employees, have filed wage complaints with the state Department of Labor, Hewitt said. 

Accomac owners Douglas Campbell and Charlene Calvert Campbell have not responded to calls requesting comment. 

Hewitt went into work on Monday, when the restaurant normally was closed to the public, and completed a day of work without anyone notifying her of the impending closing, she said. 

"I got a call, probably about 15 minutes after I left, from the owner, to let me know he was closing the doors and filing for bankruptcy," Hewitt said. "It was left to me to reach out to my staff and to let them know." 

Campell has yet to file for bankruptcy, "so we are kind of playing a waiting game until he does," she said. 

Employees are paid bi-weekly, and this upcoming Monday would be a pay day, Hewitt added. 

"I asked him about getting those paychecks, and he said none of us would receive them," she said. 

The Accomac, at 6330 River Drive, went on the market in January with a sale price of $1.395 million. 

The Accomac Inn in Hellam Township, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The new sale price for the 16,502-square-foot stone building on 7.9 acres of land is $995,000, according to a ROCK news release. 

Employees saw signs of the impending closing since it was put on the market earlier this year, but they expected an official warning that never came, Hewitt said.

"We all kind of saw what was happening, we all knew it was common knowledge that money was kind of an issue," she said. 

Those issues were amplified by flooding and road damage that left the Accomac closed for three weeks in September, she said. 

Hewitt said that the Campbells have not returned her calls or voicemails. 

On Tuesday, Hewitt and four other employees went to retrieve their belongings, she said. 

"Because there was, and I say this in quotes, 'a large group of us,' ... they said they were afraid for their safety," she said. "So they actually ended up calling the police and one by one we had to be escorted through the buildings to get our things."

Hewitt has been working at the Accomac for a little more than a year. Executive chef Josh Staub, among the five-member group, has been there longer, she said. 

"To be treated like that, it was the disrespect of it that got us the most," Hewitt said. 

The Accomac Inn in Hellam Township, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Once allowed in, the employees were told to get their things and go, "and that's the end of it," Hewitt said. 

"But for a lot of us, that can't be the end of it because we worked for two weeks and now we're not getting paid for it," she said. "And a lot of us can't afford that. I myself, I'm a mother of three, I can't afford to not be paid for two weeks." 

Despite the announcement on Wednesday, the restaurant website still listed that "Firelight Nights" would be returning to the main dining room in November. By Thursday, the website had disappeared behind password protection. 

There is no mention of the closing on the Accomac's Facebook page. 

"Part of my job was controlling the website and social media. Obviously, I'm not there anymore," Hewitt said. 

On Tuesday, the doors to the restaurant were locked. 

The Accomac did not answer the phones or responds to voicemails on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Accomac Inn Inc. owes nearly $60,000 in taxes for 2016 and 2017, according to the York County tax claims listing. 

The Campbells have operated The Accomac since 1971.

The Campbells have plans to move to Arizona, according to the ROCK release. 

Douglas Campbell has previously said he is stepping down to spend more time with his family after 46 years in the business.